Born in Birkenhead in 1936, Glenda Jackson has been acting throughout her whole life. During her teenage years, Jackson performed at the Towns Women’s Guild drama group. In 1954, she accepted a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. During her studies, she made her stage debut in Separate Tables, a role she kept for six years. In 1964, she became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and partook in numerous productions over the next four years with them, including Peter Brook’s "Theatre of Cruelty" season, which included Marat/Sade.
Jackson has starred in a number of films leading to her commercial success. This really took hold following her starring role in Women in Love, earning her first Academy Award for Best Actress. Some of her other award-winning performances in film include A Touch of Class, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Elizabeth R.
In 1992, Jackson took a break from acting to stand for election to the House of Commons, and subsequently became the Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate. She also served as Junior Transport Minister between 1997 - 1999 in Tony Blair's goverment. In 2016, Jackson returned to the stage to play the title role in King Lear at the Old Vic.